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If there's something our organization has been doing for years (likely a decision by a past board), do we need to follow the rescind/amend something previously adopted rules if we want to change it?


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There are a few things our organization has been doing for years. They were likely agreed upon by a past Executive Committee (maybe informally). None (or few) of us currently on the Executive Committee were involved in the decisions. They are so old, I have no idea of what the details were when they originally agreed to do these things. For some, I have no idea where they are in the historical meeting minutes, if they're in there at all.

If we want to change some of these things, can we just make a regular main motion? Or do we need to follow the rescind/amend something previously adopted rules (i.e. two-thirds vote or previous notice, etc.)?

If rescind/amend something previously adopted is required, do you really see in practice that people use them to change decisions that were made a long time ago?

If we pass a regular main motion (majority vote and no previous notice) to change a decision that was made long ago, and nobody complains that we didn't use rescind/amend something previously adopted, is that ok?

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16 hours ago, user said:

If we want to change some of these things, can we just make a regular main motion? Or do we need to follow the rescind/amend something previously adopted rules (i.e. two-thirds vote or previous notice, etc.)?

In the event these were in fact agreed upon by the Executive Committee at some time in the past, the motion to Rescind or Amend Previously Something Something Previously Adopted is required. Motions do not have an "expiration date."

I would note that the full requirement for adoption of this motion is a two-thirds vote OR a majority vote with previous notice OR a vote of a majority of the entire membership. In a small body with high attendance (such as an executive committee) the last of these requirements may be easily attainable.

16 hours ago, user said:

If rescind/amend something previously adopted is required, do you really see in practice that people use them to change decisions that were made a long time ago?

Sometimes. In any event, that is the correct procedure.

16 hours ago, user said:

If we pass a regular main motion (majority vote and no previous notice) to change a decision that was made long ago, and nobody complains that we didn't use rescind/amend something previously adopted, is that ok?

Technically, yes, but I don't recommend it. Adopting a main motion which conflicts with a main motion previously adopted and still in force gives rise to a continuing breach, meaning that even if no one complains at the time, a Point of Order could be raised at a later date. In this particular case, the breach may be "healed" if it can be demonstrated that the motion was adopted by the vote required for Rescind/ASPA.

The safer course of action would be to just use Rescind/ASPA. As noted above, this isn't necessarily a major obstacle in a small assembly with high attendance.

Edited by Josh Martin
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2 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

In the event these were in fact agreed upon by the Executive Committee at some time in the past, the motion to Rescind or Previously Something Adopted is required. Motions do not have an "expiration date."

Would you like to maybe take a stab at rewriting that paragraph?  Or perhaps changing one word in it?  :unsure:

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